Unfortunately, there was no fairytale ending for Enable earlier this month. John Gosden’s mare was unable to win a record third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in what was the final start of her career.
Enable struggled on the heavy ground at the Paris course and had to settle for sixth place in the race, which was won by Sottsass. It was clear with 3f to go that Frankie Dettori’s mount was not going to be able to pick up the leaders in the field.
Some of her supporters will have wanted to see Enable go out on a high with a win. Before her retirement was confirmed, there were rumours she could line up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland. This would have set up another clash with Ghaiyyath and Magical. The former is now the 6/4 favourite in the horse racing betting for the US contest as the task is much easier without Enable in the race.
Now the dust has settled, it is a good chance to reflect on the super mare’s career to see how high she ranks as one of the best middle-distance horses we have seen over the course of history.
In terms of the straight facts, Enable won 15 of her 19 races. 11 of those victories came at Group One level. Her highest official rating was 128, something she achieved after winning the Arc for the first time in 2017.
It’s rare in racing to see such a talented horse or mare continue racing as a six-year-old. Her connections deserve a lot of respect for allowing fans of the sport to see her continue training for as long as she did.
Wins in Four Different Countries
Although her rating does not rank as high as the likes of Sea The Stars and Frankel, two horses who were the best of their generation, Enable has ducked none of her rivals. She has featured in four different countries, with victories coming at the Breeders’ Cup meeting and an Irish Classic. Enable became just the eighth horse in history to win the Arc twice when she defended her crown in 2018. A year later her hat-trick bid was denied by Waldgeist at Longchamp as she finished just under two lengths behind the French-trained horse.
One record Enable does hold outright is that she is the only horse to win the Arc and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year. Given how close they are to each other on the calendar, and the distance between the two races, few have even attempted the feat.
The daughter of Nathaniel will not head into a new career at stud as a broodmare. There are already plans for her to be covered by Juddmonte stallion Kingman in 2021. If all goes to plan, Enable’s first foals could begin racing by 2024.
Very few have touched the hearts of racing fans like Enable did. Although she didn’t quite reach the lofty heights of some of the greats in the ratings, there is no doubt she is was an outstanding horse whose record speaks for itself.